Currently, one of the biggest challenges of childbirth is the time of the COVID 19 pandemic. With the threat of the virus outbreak over everyone’s heads, strict implementation of protocols is in motion to make sure the spread is under control – most especially for pregnant women.
Standard Operating Procedures For Childbirth In Singapore
Setting your expectations when it comes to childbirth during the pandemic is important in keeping your baby and you safe. While protocols may differ by the implementation, knowing the safety measures yourself will prepare you for your birthing plan.
Before childbirth, expectant mothers are required to take assessments and screenings for signs and symptoms of the COVID 19 virus. First, a triage will take place when entering hospitals and medical facilities for the safety of everyone. In anticipation of childbirth, tests will be made a week or two before delivery.
The delivery room should provide a promising quality of safety for labour and childbirth as well. This is to ensure the health of the mother, the to-be-born baby and the attendants in the delivery room to be safe from infection of the COVID 19 virus.
All attendants in the delivery room are required to undergo assessment and screening for COVID 19 to reduce the risks of virus spread. They are also required to wear personal protective equipment from head to toe with strict compliance of proper hygiene. A full set of personal protective equipment is defined as:
- N95 mask, or powered air-purifying respiratory mask
- Eye protection
The expectant mother will be required to wear a mask during the delivery of the child. The mask must be provided by the hospital and assured safety for the mother.
The newborn will also go through newborn screenings and a COVID 19 test. To protect the newborn from any risks of getting infected, the mother will not be allowed to interact with the baby until the mother’s swab test shows negative results to the COVID 19 virus.
Setting Your Expectations For Labour And Delivery
Facing the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most challenging times in the world today. While there are already standard operating procedures everyone is already accustomed to when it comes to pregnancy, going to hospitals and check-up appointments, more protocols are carried out to assure the safety and health of everyone.
Here are some hospital protocols to heed when going to the hospital for regular prenatal check-ups in preparation for labour and childbirth during the pandemic:
- Undergoing a triage is important in assuring the safety of everyone you come in contact with. Not only will it help in contact tracing, but it will also help raise awareness for everyone who is experiencing the symptoms of the coronavirus.
- Should your companion to the hospital or you show any signs and symptoms of the virus, the management can refuse their entrance to the hospital or healthcare facility. Some institutions give the option of providing support and screening for individuals that need proper assistance and examination.
- Pregnant women, children and senior citizens are especially prohibited from leaving their homes during the coronavirus pandemic except for health concerns.
- Some hospitals in Singapore may not allow the husband to support the wife during childbirth and not stay at the hospital during the wife’s confinement. If proven to be negative after going through screening and assessment of the coronavirus, some hospitals allow the husband to support the wife during delivery.
- Latching and breastfeeding will not be allowed until the mother’s swab test results are released.
What If You Are Positive With The Virus?
Data on the effects of COVID 19 on pregnant women are currently still limited. So, if you are pregnant, positive of the COVID 19 and anticipating delivery any moment now, here are some measures you will have to take and prepare for:
- For labour and childbirth, you will be placed in an isolation facility for pregnant women who are positive of the 2019 virus. There, you will be assisted and taken good care of by a trained healthcare provider.
Where you will be placed for isolation, whether the negative pressure ward, delivery suite or ICU will depend on the need for attention and care of your case.
- While considering the condition of the mother, the baby or the gestation of the pregnancy and delivery, the top priority will be the well-being of the mother.
- Once your baby is delivered, they will be isolated from you until it is time to breastfeed. Your baby will also undergo tests and screening for the COVID 19 virus right after birth, and given the needed attention and care as soon as possible.
If the baby receives negative results, they will be handed to you for breastfeeding since there have been no findings of transferring the virus through breast milk. If the baby is positive with the virus, the baby will be given the appropriate care to help them recovery – wherein breastfeeding is also a procedure that can help your baby get better.
- After childbirth, you will still be allowed to breastfeed your baby but with the strict requirement of wearing a face mask and face shield.
- Regardless of already contracting the virus, you will still be encouraged to follow proper protocols on hygiene and social distancing from other individuals – positive or not of the virus.
In A Nutshell…
The virus outbreak has changed the normal way of living for everyone such as childbirth in Singapore. Certain methods such as birthing plans are given stricter implementation of rules to assure safety for everyone involved – from the mother to the baby and even the medical staff assisting in the delivery of the baby.
In this trying time when the COVID 19 pandemic is a threat, following the protocols is the best for everyone.
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